Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Syncopation exercise: p. 38 with ties added

One minor gap in the rhythms covered in Syncopation— that's a drumming book, hahaha omg— is that there aren't so many syncopated long notes on the “weak” beats, 2 and 4. There are relatively few ties from the & of 2, and none on the & of 4, crossing the barline— and few of the functional equivalent: an 8th note on the & of 4, followed by a rest on 1— and no quarter rests on 1 at all in the full page exercises. 

Sounds arcane, is actually important— in jazz we do a lot of accenting on the & of 4, coming back in with the time on 2 of the following measure. 

So: let's add a tie on the last note of the measure, through the first note in the following measure... where there are no intervening rests. Here I've added them to the well known Syncopation Ex. 1 in Reed— notice where the ties aren't: 

I think the full page Ex. 2 is the only one where you can add the ties every measure— there are no rests at the beginning or end of any measure. 

The idea is not just to have some slighly-different rhythms to practice, so let's also accent that tied note— make a long sound, let the cymbal ring out. 

Here's how you might play the first two lines of the above exercise played with a common jazz interpretation— exercise rhythm played on the snare drum, jazz rhythm played on the cymbal, accenting the added ties on both instruments. For clarity I haven't written a hihat part:  

Depending on the style, and which pages you're practicing, you may not want to do it every single measure, so maybe do it every two measures. Usually at the end of the second measure, but also try it in the first measure, and see how it affects the sound of the phrase— especially when doing a funk interpretation. 

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